Since the birth of my youngest child, 32 months ago, I have failed. I have failed to make my body respond to healthy habits. After repeatedly trying and failing to lose the weight I gained in pregnancy, I realized that I don’t have the power to make my body do anything. I just don’t. I can do all the “right” things, and every version of “right” things that is purported by experts, and it doesn’t work. I not only didn’t lose weight while eating healthy (first cutting out this, then adding that, then eating this way, at that time, etc.) and working out (at night, in the morning, longer, harder)….I not only didn’t lose weight, but gained it. Seven pounds in a week, with no changes in my lifestyle to explain it, and they stuck. What was left of my hope was shattered.
Shortly after that unexpected and shocking weight gain, I stopped trying. We were busy getting ready to move, so it was easy to drop my workouts from my schedule. Then the holidays, and the fatigue, and settling in at our new place….I never did add them back in. I started giving in to my cravings. Vanilla coke every time I went grocery shopping. Something chocolate every day to top off my lunch. Cheetos for the crunchy and salty binge. My husband has this idea that the holidays are all about pepperoni and cheese, and I gladly joined him in that indulgence.
In the months since then, I’ve been digging for a medical explanation. Several symptoms were added to my list that for a long time only had “cannot lose weight” on it. In a recent post, I described my devastation at finding out that nothing was wrong with me except for a vitamin D deficiency. I told about how I demanded to see my endocrinologist again, when it seemed like she was brushing me off. (Come back and see me in a year!)
When my furious haze dissipated, I cancelled that appointment. She’s already done what she knows to do, so it would be irrational to harass her with my desperate cry of, “Help me. Fix me. DO SOMETHING.”
The vitamin D supplementation is helping. My fatigue and brain fog are quite less than they were. If I miss a dose, the difference is clear. I thank God for the help it has provided, and I hope that in time those symptoms will disappear altogether.
I’ve been in this uncomfortable body for long enough that my younger children don’t remember me being a healthy size. They know Mom as chubby, and to them, it’s no big deal. It’s the norm.
A few weeks ago, I faced the scale for the first time since dropping my efforts. I hadn’t stepped on it in months, and I was scared. The result? No. Change. Was I relieved? Yes, of course. I didn’t want that number to go up. But at the same time, I was horrified. It was confirmation that I’m broken. Who goes from binging on veggies to binging on jalapeno poppers and doesn’t gain an ounce? Who goes from daily, intense workouts to no exercise at all, and still weighs the same?
Despite all of this evidence of brokenness and failure, I’m considering trying again. My fatigue is lessened enough that I think I could handle some exercise. I miss it. I crave it, even. I love how it makes me feel. I could do it just for that benefit, with no expectations. But is that even really possible? When I feel my heart rate accelerate, and I get hot and sweaty with my effort, and my muscles get sore and tired….I’m going to expect to see changes in my body. But I won’t.
I’m not sure I have the courage to face failure again. But I know The One who does.